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Europe's scientists call for more effort in tackling rising ocean acidity
Date:5/18/2010

t's happening on top of global warming, so we are in double trouble. The combination of the two may be the most critical environmental and economic challenge of the century," said Professor Jelle Bijma, lead author of the report and a biogeochemist at the Alfred Wegener Institute in Germany. "Under a business-as-usual scenario, predictions for the end of the century are that the surface oceans will become 150 per cent more acidic - and this is a hell of a lot."

Integrated research on the impacts of ocean acidification is still a very new field the full implications of these changes are unclear for marine ecosystems and fisheries resources, including fish stocks, shellfish and coral reefs. Economic research on systems for managing marine resources is essential to understand the impacts on fisheries and the human communities that rely on them.

Current European and national programmes are relatively small compared to the combined challenges posed by ocean acidification and global warming. Existing research has mainly been initiated by individual researchers or teams, with limited overall coordination. Two years ago the European Project on Ocean Acidification was funded by the EU and within the last year Germany and the UK have funded national ocean acidification programmes - BIOACID and the UK Ocean Acidification Research Programme respectively. As others emerge they need to be brought together through a large-scale research initiative taking full advantage of the combined scientific expertise across the European countries and internationally. One of the first steps toward integration is to develop a specific database building on the national research activities in ocean acidification.


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Contact: Chloe Kembery
media@esf.org
33-038-876-2158
European Science Foundation
Source:Eurekalert

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